American Jews 2014
Ten percent of the 5.3 million
American Jews are “Orthodox” (straight belief). Eighteen percent are
Conservative, thirty-five percent are Reform, and 37 percent are
non-denominational. Among synagogue members, twenty-nine percent are
Conservatives, twenty-two percent are Orthodox, and thirty-nine percent are
Reform. The other ten percent are Reconstructionist or belong to a very small
Seventy percent of all American Jews participate in seders, fifty-three percent
fast on Yom Kippur, twenty-three percent light Sabbath candles, and twenty-two
percent keep a kosher home.
The median (not the mean) age of
American Jews is fifty. The median age of the Orthodox is forty. Reform Jews
exhibit a median age of fifty-four. All U.S. Jews have a birthrate of 1.9, with
non-denominational Jews at the lower end. Their birthrate is only 1.4 while the
Orthodox have a birthrate of 4.3. Conservatives and Reform have low birthrates
of 1.8 and 1.7 respectively. Furthermore, 28% of those raised in Reform leave
Among those who are Orthodox, 98% of
those married have a Jewish spouse. Among Conservatives, 73% are married Jewish.
Fifty percent of Reform Jews have a Jewish spouse, and 31% of secular Jews have
married a Jew. Fifty-six percent of all Jews are married to a Jew. More
recently, 71% of Jews have married non-Jews.
Fifty-seven percent of orthodox Jews vote Republican. Seventy percent of all
Jews vote Democrat, and 77% of Reform Jews vote Democrat. This is true of 64% of
Twenty-two percent of former Jews have no religion. These folk have a birthrate
smaller than any other Jews, as 79% are married to non-Jews. Two thirds of these
are not raising their children in any manner as Jews. Thirty-two percent of
these agnostics were born after 1980 and this is true of 58% of those born in
2000 or later.
While 67% of Jews with a religion donate to the poor, only 20% of agnostics make
Only 69% of Jews by any definition feel any attachment to Israel.
All this has led to a growing polarization between Jews by religion and those
who have Jewish ancestry but are not otherwise Jewish.